Cauldron Black Ram - Stalagmire
Blackened Death/Sludge Metal
9 songs (33:01)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Neill

Cauldron Black Ram is a perfect example of a taking a chance on something. I knew nothing of the band other than the fact that they are on the 20 Buck Spin label. The label has released some good material so I was excited to hear the band. I knew nothing about them so I looked them up a bit, and found that they like pirates. The basis of the band is pirates. I wasn't too excited about that, but the music is what really counts, so I gave the album a few spins.

First thing I notice about the band is the midrange tempo and bland music. There are at times some doom/sludge moments, but the music is mostly a mid ranged affair. The vocals are all harsh, in the deeper growl and a slightly higher pitched gruff voice. The vocals do nothing for me. They aren't horrible, but they are not interesting either. That is really what can be said about most of the album. Nothing is bad per se, but nothing is really good either, save for the last track, Speliogenesis.

The album follows the same formula pretty much throughout the 9 tracks, with no real variation. The riffs come off as interchangeable, and half the time one song goes into another and I don't even notice. It all sounds the same . Even the band's logo is just cliché and pretty ugly. Not everything is bland though. Again, the album isn't really "bad," just dull. The production is clear and the music doesn't sound too muddy. Everything feels good in the mix and nothing really out does anything else. Also, the album is really short, so the songs don't really meander or take too much time to get their point across, as dull as it may be. As I mentioned earlier as well, the final track is actually pretty nice to me. It begins with an echo-y spoken word before the music kicks in, and we do get some spoken word throughout the track, but the lack of the "normal" vocals I think it what appeals to me so much. The main riff of the track is catchy, and stands out compared to the rest of the album. I even caught my self head nodding a bit during the song. There is a small silver lining on this record.

Overall, I would like to think some people will enjoy this more than I did. As mentioned before, it's not an outright bad album. However, it's just bland and dull. At this point there are plenty of bands of a similar style, doing way more interesting things. However, feel free to check out Speliogenesis here to see if this is something you'd like to listen to further.

Killing Songs :
Neill quoted 50 / 100
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